Per la versione italiana di questo post, cliccare qua: http://matematicaecucina.blogspot.com/2012/12/struffoli-napoletani.html.
I'm thrilled to collaborate, once again, with the wonderful foodblogger and friend, Laura Tulimiero. The English translation of her recipe you will read below; the original Italian version is at her foodblog, Matematica e Cucina.
by Laura Tulimiero
by Laura Tulimiero
In the Neapolitan home, it's not Christmas if you don't have struffoli. And even if the basic ingredients are the same, every family has its own personal recipe and maintains that their struffoli are obviously the best, their recipe being the authentic one.
Today I will explain to you, step by step, how we prepare struffoli in my family. I don't know if this is the recipe for "authentic struffoli"; I know only that we've been making them this way for many years and that for us, and for anyone who has tried them, the results are excellent.
The recipe is quite easy to remember; in fact, the amounts can easily be diminished or augmented, given that everything is "in sixes." Seeing as my blog is also a diary, I wanted to prepare the stuffoli in my mother's kitchen, repeating her same motions and using her cast-iron frying pan (which is almost 60 years old), ideal for frying.
6 hectograms of flour (600 g, or 21 oz)
6 whole eggs
6 TB sugar
6 TB extra-virgin olive oil
6 TB seed oil (preferably corn)
a pinch of cinnamon
the rind of one lemon, grated
1 tsp baking powder for desserts
1 pinch salt
peanut oil for frying
wildflower honey (miele millefiori)
confetti cannellini (a white, sugar-coated candy with a cinnamon interior)
candied fruit (citron, orange peel, and little cherries) -- I didn't use them
Onto a pastry board, pour the flour and make a well, into which put the eggs, sugar, oil, lemon rind, cinammon, baking powder, and salt.
Cut into little pieces and "lengthen" them with your hand, in the shape of a bread stick about a centimeter (0.4 in) wide.
Cut the sticks in little chunks about 1 cm (0.4 in) long, and arrange them on a paper plate, covered with a dish towel. It is preferable not to add too much flour at this stage, otherwise when you fry the struffoli the oil will become "dirty" and will form an unpleasant foam.
Into a frying pan with high sides, pour the peanut oil. Put in one struffolo, to test the temperature of the oil.
When the struffolo rises to the top and the oil around it begins to sizzle, the temperature is right, and you can add the rest of the struffoli.
Cook them, turning them with a fork, until golden.
In order to cook them just right, don't cook them all at once. These were cooked in four batches.
As soon as they are cooked, remove the struffoli from the pan and dry them on paper towels.
Clean the pan, and heat a couple of TB of the honey. Add the struffoli to the boiling honey (here again, it's preferable to subdivide the struffoli into batches). Stir well in order to evenly distribute the honey and to avoid burning.
Arrange them in the form of a ring onto a serving dish, as in the photo.
Immediately after this, add the sprinkles and confetti. You must do this immediately, while the honey is hot, otherwise the sprinkles will not stick.
Here is the finished product.
Struffoli can last for a week. It is said that it's better to make them a day or two ahead, to heighten the flavor. That piece of advice has been written in cookbooks and passed down through the generations. What a shame that I cannot testify to its accuracy ... in my house struffoli don't last more than twenty-four hours!